Former Federal Minister for Water Resources Moonis Elahi appeared before the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) after the agency filed a Rs720 million money laundering case against him.

After his appearance, the former federal minister said the FIA gave him a questionnaire, claiming that its “purpose” was not to conduct an investigation but to arrest him.

“The government did all this so attention could be diverted from the budget in the Punjab Assembly. If I tell the PML-N today that we will support you, all cases will end,” the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader further said.

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He added that all information regarding his finances is available in his tax returns. According to Moonis Elahi, the FIA has not issued a notice till date but he would appear again if summoned.

The investigation agency also arrested two of Elahi’s close associates – Nawaz Bhatti and Mazhar Iqbal – on the charges that both of them used to facilitate Elahi to embezzle money.

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After the case was filed, Moonis rushed to the FIA’s office on Wednesday night but he was told to appear the next morning.

Prior to this, a special central court in Lahore dismissed Elahi’s pre-arrest bail plea in this case.

Will not abandon Imran Khan’: Moonis Elahi

When the case was registered earlier, Moonis denied receiving any notice. He said, “I would have come to the FIA office if I had received the notice. I came to know about the FIR from the media. They have skipped a legal step.”

Moonis said that he is coming to Lahore to appear before the FIA and they can arrest him if they want to.

“The PML-N is at a loss to understand that it can pressure me to change my loyalty towards former premier and PTI chairman Imran Khan. We will not abandon Khan, come what may,” he said.

Moonis added that he never heard of the two other persons named in the FIR. However, he admitted to investing in the Rahim Yar Khan (RYK) Sugar Mills, calling it his “declared investment”.

What is the case?

According to the FIA’s First Information Report (FIR), the case against Elahi was registered on Tuesday in which the state has been named as the complainant. The agency said that it has “solid evidence” against the PML-Q leader.

According to media outlets, the FIA was also investigating suspicious transactions worth Rs250 million involving the PML-Q leader’s sugar mills. Moonis is a shareholder in Alliance Sugar Mills.

According to the FIR, proceedings against Moonis under the Money Laundering Act started during former Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan’s tenure. Last year, Khan had tasked the FIA to investigate the sugar crisis throughout the country and find out who benefitted from it.

Following this, FIA released a report claiming that some of Khan’s own party members and Moonis were among those who had allegedly gained from the sugar crisis in Pakistan.